Bible Study, Spiritual Formation

Make every effort

How can I be pure in spite of contact with ungodliness? That is the question that 2 Peter 1:1-11 answers.

And in answering the question it provides both encouragement and exhortation while balancing what God provides (the resources) and what our responsibility is in spiritual transformation.

The Resource

1:3  His divine power (unlimited) has granted to us–all we need for life and godliness

1:4 His glory and excellencies have granted us His promises through which we become partakers of His divine nature–renewing the image of God.

God provides salvation–an eternal relationship with Him, freely bestowed by grace on those who place their trust in Jesus Christ as their only means of salvation.  And having provided salvation, He then graciously provides the empowerment needed for us to live out that relationship with Him.  Wow!

Wow!

Our Responsibility

The natural response to all that God has done for us–whatever God wants!

1:5-9 give us the appropriate response.  Apply all diligence, make every effort–eager readiness to expend the energy and effort necessary.

God has provided the resources, we must provide full effort to respond.  This is not sanctification by works (Galatians 3:3) since it is based in God’s empowerment.  The effort is not to complete salvation, as though God provided part of our salvation and we are responsible to finish the process.  But seeking to live in a manner appropriate for the relationship we have with God.

The list of elements to make every effort to work on provides a wonderful means of self-evaluation.  Or proactively, a wonderful passage to meditate on with the goal of spiritual transformation.

Below you will find my musings on the passage.  You may want to pray through this passage.

Father, today I want to exalt you, help my eagerness and willingness to be evident by the appropriate effort and actions.

I desire to demonstrate faith today–a faith that trusts you completely, that is not negatively affected but positively affected by circumstances that will arise.  Help me, when I begin to forget and trust my self, to surrender to you.

May my commitment to virtue, to active goodness be evident in all my actions.  May I have the courage to do what is right regardless of the consequences.

I desire to know You more intimately at the end of this day than I do now.  May I not be satisfied with the depth of what I know–make Your Word come alive and may it reveal to me more about You. May what I know be evident in what I do.

I pray for self-control, may nothing but You be my Master.  I know I cannot, by trying harder, be more like You–so I surrender my control to You.

May I be steadfast and committed to each of these virtues, may I endure faithfully, may my commitment to godliness not waver in the face of temptation, may I be dedicated to knowing You more no matter the busyness of this day, may I not only hold up under pressure but shine, take this lump of coal and press it into a diamond.

I want to grow to be more like You and to do what pleases You.  May I make You smile today and may others exalt You because of me.

And show me someone who needs an act of kindness, a word that builds up, a touch that encourages or simply my time.  Use my attitudes, actions and words to be Your concrete evidences of love today.

And may I at the end of this day love You and others more deeply than I do right now.

Author: Steve

Steve Kilgore joined the staff of Calvary Church in Lancaster, PA in the fall of 2002 as the Pastor of Discipleship to facilitate the equipping ministries, which include Adult Bible Fellowship and other adult discipleship ministries, and work with the rest of the education ministries. He currently serves as the Executive Pastor of Ministries with a focus on providing ministries that facility individuals taking intentional Next Steps for growing and participating in the leadership and administrative aspect at Calvary. He has also taught part-time at Lancaster Bible College in the area of Spiritual Formation and New Testament. Prior to coming to Calvary he served in two churches as well as taught part-time at Philadelphia Biblical University. He was born in Dallas, Texas, but spent the first 13 years of his life in Guatemala where his parents were missionaries. It was there at the age of four and a half that Steve placed his faith in Christ as his Savior. Steve received a Bachelor’s degree in Bible from Philadelphia College of Bible and a Masters of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Steve and his wife, Mary Anne, have their two boys, Andrew and Nathan (both in college), and live in East Lampeter Township. Steve lives and ministers by the personal motto, Know what you believe and why, live it, be able to defend it. His hobbies, other than playing with his family, include tinkering with computers, reading, drinking coffee with his wife, playing and watching basketball. Steve and Mary Anne are looking forward to exploring new hobbies as they transition to life as empty-nesters.

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